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Surfeit of Lampreys Audio Download – Abridged

4.2 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 3 hours and 40 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Abridged
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio UK
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 11 Jun. 2009
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002SQ5MXY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I can't improve on the previous review - however I thought some Ngaio Marsh addicts should know that this book was previously released under the title A Surfeit of Lampreys; this might prevent duplicate purchases.
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By A Customer on 5 Mar. 2002
Format: Paperback
The Surfeit of Lampreys is a nearly "perfect" R. Alleyn mystery in that it is funny, engaging and has that flair of light humour and deep sentiment that is vintage Marsh. There is a dash of New Zealand, lots of aristocratic strutting and genuine fun in the slightly overdrawn portrait of poor gentility with no sense of responsibility. Still, those who live on glimpses of the detective's personal life will be dissappointed; no Troy in this book!
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By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 Jun. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Lampreys are a charming if eccentric family. They have recently returned to London from a spell in New Zealand and a friend from their time abroad - Roberta Grey - has come to spend a holiday with them. Lord Charles is - as usual - strapped for cash and he plans on asking his brother for a hand out. When brother Gabriel is murdered in a particularly unpleasant way in the lift as he leaves Lord Charles' apartment the whole family is under suspicion.

This is an intriguing plot where the reader really needs to be able to work out who is telling the truth is lying in order to work out who is responsible for the murder. I totally failed to work it out though of course the clues are there. The characters are well drawn and interesting though I felt the motivation for the murder - when it was finally revealed - did not quite ring true. It didn't spoil my enjoyment of the story.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think this is the fourth time I have read this book and, although now dated, it is still the best detective story ever written.
The main reason is that the crime occurs well into the book, so that we are able to get to know the Lampreys very well by then. They are incorrigible, reckless. irresponsible....but so likeable......and so believable.
We encounter them first in New Zealand, then years later in London, when their NZ friend Robin Grey, recently orphaned, arrives.
A well-structured story, with strong characterisations and a convincing ending.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is arguably Ngaio Marsh's most renowned and praised book because of the well-drawn collection of genteel, humourous but irresponsible characters that make up the Lamprey family, grown-ups and children, which takes centre-stage in this story.

The story is told principally through the eyes of New Zealander Roberta Grey who is recontacting the Lamprey family whom she first met in NZ and who have invited her to stay with them at their Central London flat.

The Lampreys have no money and Uncle Gabriel, otherwise The Marquis of Wutherford, visits London to bail them out, or so they hope. Uncle Gabriel, soon after refusing their request for help, is found dead in the lift to their flat with a kitchen skewer driven through his eye. Chief Inspector Roderick Alleyn is called in to investigate which member of the Lamprey family killed him.

The customary murder occurs relatively late in this book and gives Marsh an opportunity to develop both characters and the London setting in some detail. The result is a very well written story, worth including in any crime fiction collection.

Definitely a buy recommendation!
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Format: Hardcover
A surfeit of Lampreys (first published in 1941) was the tenth book in Ngiao Marsh's series of Roderick Alleyn mysteries. In this one a very rich peer is visiting some impoverished relatives when he is suddenly and rather brutally done to death. This seems to be much to the advantage of the people he was visiting, and they become the obvious suspects. The Lamprey family do what they can to throw dust in the detective's eyes, trying to dig themselves out of a hole but just digging in deeper. The tale winds through some very dark places and is reminiscent at times of a good old fashioned gothic horror, before the culprits and their motives are revealed in a great conclusion. This is one of the better entries in the series, only marred by the titular family, many of whom are downright annoying and hard to feel sympathy for.

So four stars for the book, mainly for the Gothic elements and the mystery. The annoyingness of the Lamprey family cost it a start as it slightly mars my enjoyment of the book.
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By Aletheuon TOP 500 REVIEWER on 10 April 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Surfeit of Lampreys is the tenth Roderick Alleyn novel, published in 1941. Confusingly, it was published as 'Death of a Peer' in the US. The British title refers to the fact that King Henry I was said to have died from food poisoning due to 'a surfeit of lampreys' (eel-like fish, apparently); the central family in this story is also called Lamprey and the title is a joke about its large number of somewhat unusual, charming but not too useful family members. This eccentric, happy-go-lucky, aristocratic family is utterly impoverished and facing ruin. However, an unpleasant uncle, the Marquis, meets a nasty and untimely death and - just in time - they inherit a fortune. Obviously, this places them under suspicion and Inspector Alleyn must discover which of the charming Lampreys is really a ruthless murderer...
This magical novel from the Golden Age of women detective writers in the 1930s and 40s really illustrates why I love this genre: it is just so much fun! Like Marjorie Allingham in her Albert Campion mysteries, Ngaio Marsh enjoys herself writing about impoverished, eccentric aristocrats and their pretensions. Despite their poverty, Lord and lady Lamprey have domestic servants, a butler and a chauffeur. They try to keep their spirits up in a suitably well-bred way - charades - but they need MONEY. They maintain their sense of humour, mess about with the occult, have afternoon teas and somehow maintain an insouciant self-confidence while waiting for the axe to fall on their outdated lifestyle.
The murder takes place in a flat and much of the action is there, so there is a slightly claustrophobic atmosphere and the action is really to do with the disclosure of the characters and of their secrets.
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